The governor of Kaduna state in Nigeria once said that people living in Lagos will not go to hell because they are already living in hell. He could not comprehend why people would wake up by 4 am and come back home by 10 pm. The average Lagosian lives on the suburb of Lagos which is quite a distance from the commercial hub of the city which is usually around the Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki axis which is where most companies are located. An average Lagosian finds himself/herself positioned in between the red sea and the devil. It is always a constant battle to survive.
Lagos State is the economic hub of Nigeria and the most populous city in Africa. As such it is expected to come with its challenges. I met someone a couple of weeks ago who lives in the Iyana Ipaja axis of Lagos and works at Ajah, these are two extremes of the state and I asked him how he coped. He explained to me that he was paid 150,000 naira which is roughly USD $250 and spent more than half of his salary on transportation and feeding. He leaves his home very early and comes back late at night. He is always having body pains as his body is not used to resting. He also explained that staff welfare was nothing to write home about as his salaries were deducted if he came late to work. Of course, I know this does not apply to everyone, however it does apply to most.
I also got talking to a secondary school classmate who runs her hairdressing salon. She complains that she is being extorted by the local government representative every week. They would ask her for permits like Generator and Radio permits, things you would think do not exist. It seemed like if these local government representatives were hungry or bored, they would start looking for shop owners to extort. It can be very frustrating for business owners as any argument with them results in them locking up your shop. My classmate was forced to look for a private plaza where she paid more but had a rest of mind.
Lagos is not for the faint of heart. People sleep in buses on their way to work and ask the driver to wake them up when they get to their destination. The traffic situation in Lagos is the worst in all 36 states in Nigeria alongside neighboring west African countries. It is so frustrating that people spend hours on traffic. Some people say Lagosians are aggressive, I think it is true because of the environment and if you don’t stamp your authority, people will take you for granted.
Lagos might have its challenges but it is still the land of opportunity
One Reply to “THE STRUGGLE OF THE AVERAGE LAGOSIAN WORKER”
This is truly Lagos life……”he was paid 150,000 naira which is roughly USD $250 and spent more than half of his salary on transportation and feeding. He leaves his home very early and comes back late at night. He is always having body pains as his body is not used to resting”
Thanks @Mac Donald